By Kebba Secka
On Wednesday January 31st 2019, officers from the Drug Law Enforcement Agency unexpected stormed the premises of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), causing panic among students. The Public Relations Officer of the GTTI Students’ Union Abdou Secka, confirmed to this reporter that there was a chase and eventual apprehension of two suspected students believed to have been in possession of prohibited drugs at the Institute, but were released when nothing was found on them. According to Secka, the officers unexpectedly arrived at the School’s football field where people gather to smoke the banned drug; that when the officers arrived, the smokers scattered in various directions, with some of them scaling the School fence in order to escape. He explained that when the suspects scaled the fence into the School grounds, the officers followed them inside the School, interrupting lectures.
“This was strange and all the students left their lecture rooms as a result of the chaos,” said Secka. Asked how many officers were involved in the operation, he said three but further narrated that after they caught the suspects, a search was conducted on them in the presence of the student body. According to him, after the search, they engaged the officers to a meeting at their Union’s Office; that during the meeting, the officers were told not to operate in such a manner to the extent of interrupting classes. Asked the outcome of the search conducted on the suspected students, PRO Secka said: “There was no exhibit of drugs found on them. What was found on them was a residue,” Asked to comment on the actions of the officers, Secka said the DLEA’s officers are mandated by Law to carry out their duties at any place but added that they need to do more sensitization, in order to minimize the use and harmful effects of drugs on users. This reporter contacted the office of the Director of GTTI for comments but was told by his private secretary that she was attending a Management Meeting at the time, which she later confirmed.
The Senior Administrative Officer of DLEA when contacted to shed light on the issue, referred this reporter to the DLEA’s PRO, to no avail.